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Characteristics of a Typical Nigerian Jatropha curcas oil Seeds for Biodiesel Production

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B 65, Minna, Niger State, NIGERIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 2, Issue (10), Pages 7-12, October,18 (2012)


The cost of biodiesel production is the major hurdle towards its commercialization. Biodiesel production is considered to be economically viable only if price compete favorably with petroleum diesel. But biodiesel from edible oil may be too expensive and bring about food crisis. One viable way of ensuring commercial availability of biodiesel is to use less expensive inedible plant oil. This paper presents the result of characterization of typical Nigerian Jatropha curcas oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production. The Jatropha curcas oil was extracted at 700 C using n-hexane as solvent and at a particle size of 0.7 mm. The resultant oil was analyzed for its physical and chemical properties such as density, viscosity, specific gravity, refractive index, acid value, saponification value, iodine value, peroxide value and percentage free fatty acid. The fatty acid composition was revealed using a gas chromatography. It was found that the oleic and linoliec were the principal fatty acids, while the saturated fatty acids were palmitic acid and stearic acid. The oil low peroxide value and high iodine value is a strong indication of its stability to oxidation. The oil yield was high and its exhibit excellent properties that make it an exciting proposition as the most economically viable feedstock for biodiesel production in Nigeria.


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